TOKYO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Japan's COVID-19 death toll topped 5,000 on Saturday as the country struggles to contain the resurgence of infections, according to the latest figures from the health ministry and local authorities.
As the number of infections continues to surge across the country, the pace of deaths is accelerating.
The death toll from the virus surpassed 1,000 in July last year, and topped 2,000 after about four months in November. In late December, it passed 3,000 and in less than 20 days, it exceeded the 4,000 mark.
By prefectures, Osaka has the highest number of deaths with 812, followed by Tokyo's 770 and Hokkaido's 561.
The latest wave of infections has forced Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a state of emergency in 11 of the country's 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, earlier in the month.